Orientation & Mobility Training

Overview

Knowing where you are and how to get around—it’s the key to maintaining an independent lifestyle. Helen Keller Services for the Blind (HKSB) offers one-on-one training in orientation and mobility, giving you the tools to familiarize yourself with new environments and travel independently. You can work with our certified O&M specialists at one of our HKSB locations or take advantage of our field services, which provide training in home, workplace and community settings.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Navigate your neighborhood.
  • Utilize public transportation.
  • Travel safely to work, doctor’s appointments, shopping centers and more.
  • Utilize the GPS on your smartphone.
Two men walking down a city street. One is learning to use a cane.

Research-Based Training

At HKSB, you’ll learn best practices for safe travel. Our certified O&M specialists will introduce you to nationally recognized principles and methods, enhancing this standard training with techniques designed specifically to address your particular needs.

The first step will be to assess your strengths and weaknesses, and develop a customized training plan for you. Then you’ll dive right into practical, hands-on learning. Can you feel the end of a curb? What do you do when the lights go out and you can’t depend on your remaining vision? Through blindfold training, you’ll improve your tactual interpretation of your environment. You’ll learn to switch from visual cues to aural or tactual ones as you orient yourself to new places and adapt to changing circumstances.

Armed with strategies based on extensive research, you’ll be prepared to analyze the risks in unfamiliar surroundings and handle any obstacles that come your way.

When your training is complete, you’ll be able to:

  • Use a cane and other aids.
  • Take advantage of remaining vision—and create a plan to compensate when it’s not possible to do so.
  • Figure out what you can do on your own and when you need to ask for help.

Admissions

Proof of legal blindness is required for admission. Services are free if you if you meet the eligibility requirements and participate in a NYS Commission for the Blind rehabilitation program. Certain optical aids and adaptive equipment are provided based on economic need.

Contact us for more information

Success Story

Video & Transcript

Headshot of man with beard in dark glasses and rainbow hat.

George’s Story: A Dream Renewed

Thanks to his mobility and technology training at HKSB, George is ready to reclaim his music career.

Go to George's Story Go to All HKSB Success Stories